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The UK's only independent think tank devoted to higher education.


The HEPI Blog aims to make brief, incisive contributions to the higher education policy landscape. It is circulated to our subscribers and published online. We welcome guest submissions, which should follow our Instructions for Blog Authors. Submissions should be sent to our Blog Editor, Josh Freeman, at [email protected].

  • Should doctors and engineers pay higher fees than arts students?

    29 May 2015 by Nicholas Robinson

    This is the third in a series of pieces by HEPI visiting researcher Nicholas Robinson comparing the UK and Australian higher education systems. The first two on maintenance support and part-time students can be found here and here. The dust has finally settled on the debate over the tuition fee…

  • Part-time students deserve more than part-time policy

    26 May 2015 by Nicholas Robinson

    This piece by Nicholas Robinson, a researcher at HEPI who grew up and went to university in Australia, is the second in a series comparing the UK and Australian higher education systems. The first covered student maintenance and was published in Times Higher Education on May 7 2015. The number…

  • How will BIS tackle the HE funding challenge?

    14 May 2015

    Below is a short extract from a speech that Nick Hillman, HEPI Director, made earlier today to a Higher Education Academy meeting of Pro-Vice Chancellors for teaching and learning. No political party promised to protect the budget of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in the lengthy general…

  • Higher education, Labour and the 2015 general election

    5 May 2015

    The clearest higher education policy of this election campaign is Labour’s commitment to reduce the full-time undergraduate tuition fee cap from £9,000 to £6,000 and to raise the maximum maintenance grant by £400 a year alongside. It is a clear pitch to students (and their parents). Polling among students suggests it…

  • The higher education general election policy Wall of Shame [UPDATED]

    23 April 2015

    It seems the predictions that higher education will not play a major part in the 2015 general election campaign (made by HEPI and others) are coming true. New research by Loughborough University shows higher education has so far made up just 0.3 per cent of general election policy discussions. This…

  • Let’s hear it for the specialists

    31 March 2015

    We are privileged to have some civil servants who spend years on the same policy area, drilling down into the detail so that they know it like no other. Dodging the civil service’s tendency to churn people around in the hope they’ll become a ‘generalist’, these people become true experts…

  • Why are PhD posters a thing?

    24 March 2015 by Nick Hillman

    There is a trend afoot, encouraged by the funders of research, to ask PhD students and other academic researchers to design posters explaining their work. The aim, I think, is to provide an accessible means of explaining (often unfinished) academic work. It’s a nice idea, but many of the posters end…